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Thread: Butte Creek claims yet another life

  1. #1
    Member Rich_in_AK's Avatar
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    Default Butte Creek claims yet another life

    Alaska man dies in ATV rollover on Denali Highway

    • FAIRBAKNS - A 57-year-old Eagle River man died Friday after his ATV tipped over while crossing a creek off the Denali Highway, about 150 miles south of Fairbanks.


      The body of Philip Douthitt was found later submerged under a log a short distance from where his Polaris Ranger Crew overturned in Butte Creek, according to Alaska State Troopers. Butte Creek is located near Alpine Creek Lodge at milepost 68 of the 135-mile Denali Highway between Paxson and Cantwell.
      Troopers received a report at 10:40 a.m. Friday that Douthitt was missing after his ATV tipped over in the creek. Two other individuals riding in the four-seat ATV were able to get to shore while Douthitt was seen floating downstream.

      A trooper helicopter from Fairbanks and a helicopter from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage responded to conduct a search of the area. Douthitt’s body was seen submerged under a log a short distance downstream from the incident at 3:20 p.m. The body was recovered later the same day.

      According to troopers, water forced the ATV over on its side as Douthitt was driving it across the creek



  2. #2

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    I would think Butte Creek would be awfully high right now.

  3. #3
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
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    I crossed Butte creek last year about a week before the first fatality and it was sketchy. That creek moves some serious water and the way the trail crosses it leaves a lot to be desired. You can cross with a slight down river angle going over but not coming back in my experiance. I thought the ole girl was gonna meet its maker. I think the heavy load saved me and a trailer would of screwed me.
    Condolences to the family and hopefully others learn from these unfortanate accidents
    Ignorance is not Bliss, it's insanity

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    I crossed Butte creek last year about a week before the first fatality and it was sketchy. That creek moves some serious water and the way the trail crosses it leaves a lot to be desired. You can cross with a slight down river angle going over but not coming back in my experiance.......
    I came out of there on Sept 18th after having gone in on the 17th (my camp was literally smashed that night in the wind/rain/sleet). Overnight, the creek had come up at least a foot. I had no problem, but was concerned. Mr. Barnes was killed on the 24th.

    You can cross at a downstream angle coming back (and I always do, since I drive an Argo, which easily floats and can be carried away in current). As you approach the creek coming out, look for a rather narrow, muddy, rutted trail going upstream. You end up in the creek about a hundred yards or so from the main crossing. It's actually a much shallower crossing, but going in that way means fighting the current.

    Butte Creek is earning the title of being a killer. Hopefully it will either mean fewer people going in there (unlikely), or more consideration in crossing.

  5. #5
    Member jkb's Avatar
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    I haven't crossed Butte creek it a few years. But it is a dicey proposition.
    You can not cross going straight across. There are yard sales from people trying to go straight across every weekend. Go upstream and come down, if you miss the place to get out you are going to swamp at best and it can be fatal at worst. Please be careful people.
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming-----WOW-----what a ride!
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